Russian Kunakbaev shines in Kazan,Tatarstan
Russian Apprentice jockey Emil Kunakbaev made the most of home conditions and entered the history books by winning Tatarstan’s first international horse race at the Hippodrome Kazan on Sunday, August 30.
Kunakbaev rode a brilliant race on Dochy Causasus to win the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race in Kazan as Tatarstanmarked the National Day with a card full of top races.
Kunakbaev became the 7th Apprentice to qualify for the November 8 final of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship and it was only his third career victory in 29 starts.
The Russian was impressive as he drove Dochy Causasus to a 4-length win from Hungarian Zsuzsa Timar on Katrusya while Malaysian Amirul Adli Ismadi ran into third place on Palm in the eight-horse field.
The winning time for the 1600-metre distance was 1:52.91 and the race carried a prize fund of Euros 20,000.
Director of Kazan Racecourse Sergei Vasilko along with Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int'l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Russian official Vladimir Chokovska took part in the prize distribution after a large crowd of Tatarstan fans enjoyed the day’s racing.
Vasiklo hailed the support of the UAE to bring big time racing to the Hippodrome Kazan. “We thank His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the World for this initiative,” the Kazan official said.
Ms Sawaya said, “We are happy that we came here to Kazan to stage this race. Seeing the enthusiasm and support of the officials and the fans we are convinced that this will be a long relationship in promoting horse racing.”
“The Russian jockey Emil Kunakbaev has proved his mettle and with just two more rounds of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race series, we are now gearing up for the November 8 final in Abu Dhabi,” she added.
“We have also begun preparations for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Endurance championship for ladies in Garda, Italy,” Ms Sawaya said.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Bloom, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Petromal, Hayatna, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival / Satya Narayan
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf